When skating on indoor ice, skates should be sharpened every 3 to 5 hours of ice time. This will vary depending on ice conditions, skate care and personal preference.
Skates can be sharpened with several different hollows which will provide different results. A deeper hollow such as 3/8” will cut into the ice and provide less glide than a ½” hollow.
A properly shaped/contoured blade will provide optimal balance and power, however the shaping/contouring needs to be maintained by proper skate sharpening and re-shaping/contouring as required.
A deeper cut will not necessarily stay sharper longer than a shallower cut. In fact, the taller edges of a deep cut will break off faster, thus requiring sharpening to bring the edge back.
The fingernail does tell you if the edges are sharp, but the more important test is to ensure that the edges are even. Uneven edges will cause skate “blowout” or slippage as the skater turns tight or stops.
Skate chatter when stopping is a sign of the skates being too sharp for the individual or uneven edges.